FOR: AFRICAN COPPER PLC
AIM SYMBOL: ACU
November 29, 2010
African Copper Plc (AIM: ACU, BSE: African Copper) Funding of USD7.5 Million Secured for Growth Projects and
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 29, 2010) - African Copper Plc ("ACU" or "the Company")
(AIM:ACU)(BOTSWANA:AFRICAN COPPER), the AIM-listed copper producer and exploration company, currently focused
on Botswana, announces that it has secured a loan (the "ZCI Loan") of USD7.5 million from its controlling
shareholder ZCI Limited ("ZCI"). The purpose of this debt funding is to enable exploration drilling on the
Company's Matsitama Exploration Project and Mowana North deposit and the completion of a scoping study for the
Makala deposits as well as plant enhancements.
The Matsitama project, nearby to ACU's producing Mowana mine, encompasses the highly prospective Matsitama
Schist Belt, which has demonstrated similarities to IOCG deposit types, and consists of four licences totalling
2,276km2 in extent. ACU has hired an experienced exploration manager to oversee the project over the next year
and secured the services of a panel of internationally recognised geological experts to help generate new
exploration strategies, refine mineral emplacement and deposit models, and assist in target generation. This
will ensure that exploration commitments of the Company are met and exploration expenditures optimally spent,
in order to allow ACU to apply for retention licences over a portion or portions of the exploration permits by
Since May 2010, four workshops have been held on site in Botswana with various members of the Company's expert
exploration panel. Work completed included a review of the Company's extensive exploration datasets, the
reinterpretation of the geophysics data, field-based structural studies, and the submission of a suite of
samples for age dating purposes. Ten new and highly prospective targets have been identified during the review
process by both the expert panel and Matsitama exploration staff and fast-track exploration programmes have
been designed to allow the targets to be assessed within the available time frame. The drilling work on these
targets has commenced with a view to complete all drilling fieldwork before the onset of the rain season.
At Mowana North, a single deep diamond-drill hole was commenced in May 2010 and completed by July 2010. This
1,200m deep hole revealed good copper mineralisation starting at 49m below the surface over a vertical depth of
1,000m. New drill targets have also now been identified and a drilling programme drawn up. Drill results from
this area will have a direct impact on the future plans for an underground mine at Mowana.
The Makala deposit has been previously drilled extensively by BCL with additional drilling by ACU in 2006.
There is therefore sufficient data to give an indication of the likely resource available for a small
underground mining operation. ACU now wants to undertake a scoping study of this deposit with a view to
extending mining activity beyond the Thakadu open pit mine life.
Following the commencement of engineering design work by Amec Minproc, the plant has further been tested with
higher throughput and management have identified a number of areas for improvement. The ore conveying system
and wet section pumping capacity have been identified as one such area, as have the electrical and
instrumentation systems. Enhancements have commenced to address these areas to place the plant on a better
footing for higher capacity.
In order to fund these growth projects and the other plant enhancements, ACU has secured USD7.5 million from
ZCI. Under the terms of the ZCI loan, the Company will receive USD7.5 million immediately, at an interest rate
of 12% per annum payable half yearly, to be repaid on or before 30 November 2014 and may be renewed for a
further 2 years, subject to ZCI giving its written consent to such renewal, prior to the repayment date. The
terms and conditions are otherwise on the same terms as with the previous term loans from ZCI, including
security provided, and bring total interest-bearing loans from ZCI to USD 41.5 million, excluding the
Convertible Loan of USD7.9 million. ACU has drawn down USD2.5 million from this facility to ensure completion
of the drilling at Matsitama before the onset of the rainy season, the commencement of the scoping study for an
underground mine at Makala, the initial work for the exploration drilling programme at Mowana North and
continuation of its plant enhancements.
As ZCI owns 82.16 per cent. of African Copper's total issued ordinary share capital at the date of this
announcement and is providing financing to the Company, the ZCI Loan falls within the definition of a related
party transaction under Rule 13 of the AIM Rules for Companies. The independent directors of the Company
consider, having consulted with its nominated adviser Canaccord Genuity Limited ('Canaccord'), that the terms
of the transactions are fair and reasonable insofar as its shareholders are concerned.
Commenting, Jordan Soko, Acting Chief Executive of African Copper Plc, said, "We are pleased with ZCI's
commitment to assist ACU explore its growth projects and value adding activities that could potentially extend
mining beyond the current life of mine as well as enhance current operations. We have sought to ensure that
cash flow from Mowana production is reinvested in upgrading the physical infrastructure and production capacity
and efficiency at Mowana."
Tom Kamwendo, Chairman of ZCI Limited added: "We regard African Copper as an attractive lending proposition and
we are delighted to be able to help the company improve its operational efficiencies and knowledge of what
could be an exciting addition to its resource base."
The technical information in this announcement has been reviewed and approved by David De'Ath, BSc (Hons), MSc,
GDE-Mining, MIMM and MAusIMM, the Company's Manager -Geology, of the Mowana Mine for the purposes of the
current Guidance Note for Mining, Oil and Gas Companies issued by the London Stock Exchange in June 2009.
For further information please visit www.africancopper.com.
Notes to Editors:
African Copper Plc is an AIM-listed copper producer and exploration company, currently focused on Botswana. The
Company's flagship project is the copper producing open pit Mowana mine. ACU also owns the rights to the
adjacent Thakadu-Makala deposit. Both deposits are situated on the highly prospective Matsitama belt, located
close to Botswana's second largest city, Francistown, in the northeastern part of the country.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
African Copper Plc
Chief Financial Officer
+1 (416) 847 4866
Canaccord Genuity Limited (NOMAD and Broker)
Andrew Chubb/Tarica Mpinga
+44 (0) 20 7050 6500
Tavistock Communications (PR and IR)
Simon Hudson/James Midmer
+44 (0) 20 7920 3150
African Copper PLC